Washington, DC – Ryan Zimmerman scored on a wild pitch in the 10th inning as the Washington Nationals took a wild 5-4 win over the New York Mets in the opener of a three-game series.
The Mets had taken a 4-3 lead in the top of the 10th on a Josh Thole RBI double, but the Nationals quickly tied it off of Tim Byrdak (2-1).
Jhonatan Solano singled to lead off the inning and moved to second on a sac bunt from Steve Lombardozzi. Bryce Harper then tied the game with a blistering triple to right field. Intentional walks to Zimmerman and Ian Desmond loaded the bases and Adam LaRoche hit into a fielder's choice that saw Harper forced out at home.
Pedro Beato then came on to face Tyler Moore and uncorked a pitch that got away from Thole and Zimmerman easily trotted home for the win.
"There's no give up," Nationals manager Davey Johnson said. "Probably not as flashy as a lot of players, but they're everyday ballplayers."
The wild pitch made a winner out of Ryan Mattheus (3-1), who got the final out of the 10th inning. Ross Detwiler was in line for the win after pitching seven shutout innings that saw him give up just five hits while striking out four, but Tyler Clippard gave up the lead in the ninth inning.
Moore hit a solo home run while Danny Espinosa and Lombardozzi each drove in a run for the Nationals, who were coming off a four-game split with Miami.
Jordany Valdespin belted a pinch-hit three-run home run in the ninth inning while David Wright went 2-for-5 with a run scored for the Mets, who have dropped five straight. Jon Niese bounced back from a rough previous start that saw him give up seven runs as on Tuesday he yielded just one run on three hits with eight strikeouts over seven innings.
"We got to start winning again," Thole said. "It's tough this is a bit of a skid but that's how it goes in this game."
The Nationals held a 2-0 lead going into the ninth, but Clippard gave it up. Thole singled to start and Wright followed with a base hit. After Scott Hairston struck out, Valdespin clubbed a 1-2 changeup that hit off the top of the wall in right-center. An umpire review confirmed the on-field call and it was a 3-2 game.
The Nationals, though, sent the game to extras. Bobby Parnell was on the hill to close the game and got the first out, but Michael Morse singled and LaRoche followed suit with a single. After Moore struck out, Espinosa singled to center to tie the game.
In the 10th, Mike Gonzalez was on the hill for Washington and immediately gave up an infield single to David Murphy. A sac bunt from Kirk Nieuwenhuis moved Murphy to second, but Ruben Tejada flied out for the second out of the inning. However, Thole punched a double to left to score Murphy and give the Mets a 4-3 lead.
Moore's homer in the fifth was the only run of the game until Lombardozzi doubled home Mark DeRosa in the eighth inning.
Valdespin has just three hits in 20 at-bats as a pinch hitter this season, but all three hits have been home runs...Washington has won five of the seven games against New York this season...Jordan Zimmermann pitches for the Nationals on Wednesday while Chris Young will take the hill for the Mets.